(Rapaport…Aug 2, 2004) Abbey Chikane, former chairman of the Kimberley Process and the chairman of South Africa’s Diamond Board, has emphasized the role of “peer pressure” in implementation of the Kimberley process.
In an interview with South Africa’s Sunday Times published on July 31, he highlighted the role played by the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in drawing attention to the discrepancy shown by Congo in its diamond output versus diamond origin. He said it also vindicated the decision to install a peer review mechanism to police the Kimberley Process’s policies.
“”The DRC brought to our attention the possible non-compliance of Congo, highlighting their annual exports and the geological potential and on that basis a review mission was set up,” observed Chikane.
The expulsion of Congo from the Kimberley process has shown that it had “teeth” and that “a country can be removed if there is reasonable doubt that it is not complying with the provisions of the Kimberley Process,” Chikane said.
Congo is scheduled to report back at the next plenary session of the Kimberley Process from October 27-29 in Ottawa, Canada. It has to provide proof that it can produce the high volumes of diamonds or show that they have been sourced from “clean” areas.